Test 3 Lecture 20

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  1. Moundville: 1000-1450 AD
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    • 300 acre settlement built on a bluff by the Black Warrior River in Alabama.
    • Number of mounds changes, but last estimated is 36
    • the only larger mound settlement larger than moundville is Cahokia
    • abandoned around 1450 for unknown reasons predating European contact
    • has been subjected to looting for antiquarian purposes
    • population ranged from 1000-3000 people
    • Moundville is indicative of a central settlement that held sway over regional communities.
    • Ceramics and exotic materials are imported from across the region
    • moundville often referred to as a chiefdom
    • What to call moundville in terms of social herirachy is problematic because calling them chiefs implies that one or few people are in charge.
    • Instead, there were other individuals in different mounds engaging in similar activities just smaller scale so it becomes problematic when it is referred to as a chiefdom.
    • we should refer to them rather as stratified hierarchical sites.
    • Band, Tribe, Chiefdom, State - developed
    • in context of human ecology - been outdated for decades, but still shows up when labeling organization of human societies.
  2. Moundville:Keyplayers
    • Excavated by Clarence Bloomville Moore
    • (1852-1936), the American version of
    • Heinrich Schliemann (business man who discovered Troy; antiquarianist; destroying arch materials)
    • Moore came from wealthy family that owned a newspaper company - Jessup and Moore Paper Co.
    • He traveled around a lot, visited Schliemann's site, had an interest in North American past and went to Harvard to study archaeology.
    • 1st person to excavate moundville in 1905-06
    • identified SECC and other mounds not visible on the surface; his excavations not systematic, but rather selective.
    • in any case we should keep in mind that he is a wealthy business man first in pursuit of novelties, but still a good archaeologist
    • traveled round in his steamboat called the Gopher

    • Revisited by Walter B. Jones (1895-1977)
    • trained at University of Alabama & John Hopkins
    • had wide set of interests in archaeology and geology
    • invested in heritage preservation
    • petitioned for Moundville to be turned into a state park
    • In the 30's the depression affected his ability to do things for preservation and excavation so he decided to fund raise for this
    • he wanted to excavate systematically so he sent his friend David DeJarnette to be trained and together they excavated
    • excavated about 15% of the site
    • became state geologist and conservator to assure the resources stayed local and available to the public
    • The Jones Museum built in response to this and a lot of the original resources are still there.
  3. What are the 2 types of ceramics at Moundville
    • Hemphill
    • Polychrome Pottery
  4. Ceramics at Moundville:

    Hemphill Style characteristics:
    • ceramic vessels
    • found everywhere in the area - in commoner and elite areas
    • Shell-tempered with non local resources
    • Burnished and Polished (decorative technique polished when its dry and then again after firing)
    • incised after firing
    • themes include the winged serpent, the crested bird, the raptor, and images included
    • in the SECC repertoire.
  5. Ceramics at Moundville:

    Polychrome Pottery characteristics:
    • not found throughout the area
    • only found in grave sites of elite
    • Spherical bottles, square bowls, serving vessels
    • vessels meant to hold exotic materials or serving
    • Imported resources
    • indicative of social stratification and public ceremony activities
  6. Burials

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    • Evidence of intense social stratification
    • Mound burials - also found but in a smaller scale compared to elites
    • “Commoner” burials
    • investment in communal ceremonial system
    • Grave goods indicate status heriarchy between commoner and elite - higher quality for elites
    • Diet - higher quality eating food derived from settlers around moundville - looking at tributary society or exchange network
    • Imports
    • elite investing in symbolic repertoires
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Test 3 Lecture 20
lecture 20
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